"Being comfortable stinks" she said, but "changing is hard." I smiled, nodded, and said, "Yes it can be but who we become as we traverse the gap is what really matters ". She gave me that funny "I think I know what you mean but I am not sure I understand" look. So I began to explain to her and slowly she began to understand. To understand that life is all about closing gaps. It sounds so simple. I must admit it does, but it is in the application where all the opportunity lies.
She told me that when she had noticed gaps she would get frustrated that she was not where she wanted to be. She would then take action and eventually would close the gap but in no time there were more gaps. Sometimes there were multiple gaps; she hated that. Then she looked down, almost embarrassed. I asked her what was she feeling right now. She said that the worse was when she recognized there was a gap and she could not close it, no matter how hard she tried. It made her feel inadequate. Her voice cracked and as tears began to form she confessed, "when I couldn't close the gap, I just gave up."
I felt her pain but I knew she had to move through it. I had to ask the question that needed to be asked no matter how tough it was, “By giving up on you, what has that cost you in your life?" Now the tears were in a full stream and she said "everything!" She told me that every time she quit on herself it was that much easier to quit the next time and now she has quit so many times she barely even tries anymore. It cost her relationships, her ability to be grateful and loving. She has turned cynical and spiteful, but most of all it cost her herself. She proclaimed "I wasn't always this way. I used to dream, laugh, and love. I loved life and learning but I pushed everyone away except my dog. He doesn't know any better." She smiled and we shared a laugh. She was ready, more ready than she ever has been!
She asked, "what do I do now?" I said you take another step. She was confused. I shared with her that she was closing the biggest gap of all. The one that leads you back to who you really are. She shook her head and said, “I don't know if I even know if I know her anymore. It has been so long." “Too long" I said with a smile as she silently acknowledged that with a nod.
It was in that moment I knew she turned the corner. She became a sponge, listening, learning - feeling. You could see the little girl who has been absent for so long slowly beginning to return. I shared with her that what she discovers about herself is even more important than closing the gap. It is the fact that you step out of comfort and safety; and step into the unknown and growth. She nodded and understood that there is no game plan or recipe to follow. She recognized that it is all unwritten, that she gets to be the author, and that there that are always more gaps. Gaps are not a sign that you're inadequate or that you are doing anything wrong. They are a sign that you are alive and doing well in this game called life. She smiled, this time she was the women, the women who she always wanted to be. She said "change is still hard." I agreed and said "yes it can be but the rewards are so worth the effort."